Tag Archives: saving money

Debt UPdate

Adulting.  Why did I not relish in the glory of being a child as much as I should have?  Why didn’t I take more naps?  Draw on more walls with crayons?  Eat more dirt?adult-life

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of amazing things about being an adult!  You can go to bed whenever you want and even spoil your appetite before dinner.  Hell, you can have ice cream for supper if that tickles your fancy.

However, all of the luxuries of being an adult are outweighed by the one cruel reality that comes with living on your own:

BILLS.

It is ALWAYS something!  Every time I feel like P and I are getting a handle on our debt and we are starting to make progress in the road to one day being DEBT FREE …

sister-act-gif-1450365032
Cue joyful Whoopi gif

life throws in a speed bump, then a pothole, and finally just for shits and giggles one heck of a financial detour.

anigif_enhanced-buzz-15395-1384540153-16
Followed by discouraged Whoopi

Let me preface this rant by just stating a few things.  I’m so incredibly lucky.  Everyone is healthy, I am 33 weeks pregnant with a healthy baby that I can’t wait to meet in mere weeks, and we have a roof over our heads, a bed to sleep in and bellies full of food.  Life for the most part is amazing…

BUT why does there always have to be a BUT?

When we found out I was pregnant we had been trying for years.  We had definitely planned for the extra finances that a baby requires.  We also bought (ok, we actually financed) a new vehicle that was safer and more family friendly for myself and baby.  We crunched the numbers and an extra car payment could squeeze into our budget.

BUT…

sex_and_the_city_s4e8_powerbook_g3_2
The reality of your computer’s motherboard dying isn’t nearly as stylish as when it happened to Carrie in Sex and the City

Then my husband’s computer crapped out (his motherboard died). It was 8 years old (which is like 150 in computer years) and he works in IT and has to have a top notch computer in order to do his job.  Well, a top notch computer is expensive.  P built it himself with all the bells and whistles.  Let’s just say it’s black with red components (he was going for a Darth Vader theme ) and the red LED lights he placed in his new computer now make our office look like a XXX store.  It was definitely an expense (not to mention office decor) that was unexpected for me.  We ended up having to finance it.  Boo. On the upside we were able to get 12 months no interest, but still its an extra monthly payment that we were not planning on this year.

Then a few weeks later P’s Jeep decided that it was sick and needed to go see the Jeep doc.  That damn Jeep racks up more medical bills then any other Jeep I know.  Then the following week, my old Jetta decided it also wasn’t feeling well and racked up another bill 4 times over what the Jeep bill was!!!!

WTF!

So in a nutshell, our debt is back to where it was last year.  All the progress we made is now back to square one.

BUT…

tumblr_inline_o5hxwpli9P1rydd6z_500

I’m discovering that all of the bills, the stress, the responsibility, and the unexpected twists and turns are just a part of being an adult.  Time to put my big girl pants on (and oh, how BIG my pants have gotten) shake it off and start all over again tomorrow with a big girl panty attitude!

 

Til next time,

Ang

Advertisements

Let the snowball roll

This morning we finally paid off P’s dental bill!!!!  Gif3With this last unexpected expense finally paid, we can get our debt snowball rocking and rolling to start paying off all our other debt (credit card, student loan, car payments, mortgage…the usual).

If you aren’t familiar with Dave Ramsey’s snowball method to get out of debt, let me break it down for you.

You write down all your debt starting with smallest to largest.  By the way, this is definitely the most cringeworthy part of the process (it is nauseating to see all of your debt on one piece of paper).

So for example, our debt from smallest to largest goes like this:

P’s dental bill.

My student loan.

Credit card.

P’s student loan.

Jeep loan.

Mortgage.

You pay the minimum payments on all of the debt except the smallest debt.  Any extra money you have during the month is put towards the smallest bill along with your minimum monthly payment.  Once the smallest debt is paid off  you then start to tackle the new smallest debt (which for us would be my student loan).  So next month I can put the dental bill payment (which was $225/mo…I really need to introduce P to floss) as well as any extra money we can come up with and pay that amount in addition to my minimum student loan payment I already make (which is currently $150/mo).

giphyBreathe. Save. Repeat.

With one debt gone, I am sure that I am going to be able to sleep a little bit better this Labor Day weekend.

Hope you all have a frugal weekend!

Ang

Meal Planning

fridge_cleaningWhile cleaning out the fridge this week (I know I lead an exciting life, be jealous) probably about $50.00 worth of groceries were thrown out.  It makes me sick that so much of our food goes bad because when we go grocery shopping we never have a plan.  A few items are scribbled on a list, but when it comes to dinner each week, it is improvised every night.  This results in grabbing fast food, going out to eat, and throwing away way  a lot of spoiled food.  The result all around:  We are wasting too much money.

So P and I are tired of failing to plan and planning to fail.  We want to come home after a long day of work and enjoy a healthy home cooked meal every night.  So we are actually going to plan out our meals for the week and are going grocery shopping today with a list.  Wish us luck.

Here are a few youtube videos I watched to get some inspiration for our shopping trip:

(the elevator music in this video is horrible, but she has some really good tips for meal planning)

(this video has no bad music and has great ideas for some healthy meals)

If you are a planner like these ladies and have any tips let me know!

On to the grocery store!

Ang

Love and Money

When you get the good fortune to find someone in this life that you can tolerate for the next4fdaa3b92775483bba6715652ec615ee 60 years, the next step is usually the combining of households. Nothing says “I love you” more than the willingness to live in the same space and share the same toilet. Only love could bring us to the point where we would want to share the most intimate of spaces. However, more intimate than the sharing of time on the porcelain throne is the sharing of money.

Now there are some couples I know that keep their finances separate. Their money is their money and all combined bills are split in half. If it works for you then that is fantastic. However, this is not the case with P and myself. From the second we got engaged for the third and final time (sometimes a girl needs to be proposed to several times in order to make sure her gentleman caller is serious) we knew that there would be a melding of what little money we had at the time. That is the nice thing about being poor, no prenup is necessary because nobody wants half of nothing.

The agreement we had before we walked down the aisle was that I would be in charge of paying the bills and the finances. The reason for this was simple: P was the dreamer and I was the realist. I am finding out that when it comes to money you have to be real.

couple-fighting-over-moneyThis worked the first few years of our marriage. I paid the bills, we budgeted out what we could afford and had very little debt besides our *shiver* student loan debt (I’m not going to rage…errr…I mean write about that topic in fear of developing carpal tunnel syndrome).

Then resentment built up on both sides. P felt like he was constantly on a budget and being told “no” when he wanted to buy something. I felt like I was constantly saying “no” and was tired of being the responsible one.

P’s dreamer mentality was appealing to me. So much so that I let go of the financial reins, closed my eyes and became a dreamer too. It was pure bliss, until I woke up after a couple of years to find us in over $12,000 of credit card debt. A very rude awakening indeed.

That is when I realized that there is only room for one dreamer in this marriage and it is not me. I have always been the girl with her feet firmly planted on the ground. A realist when it comes to life, love and finally with money again. My realistic mentality is getting us out of debt that my dreamer mentality got us into (but it sure was fun to be a dreamer while it lasted).

If you combine your finances and you want to be financially secure there has to be one person who is a realist.  There has to be someone who is talking sense (or cents, *wink* *wink*) when it comes to money.

So let me end this post by making a confession.  My name is Angela and I am a realist.  There, I said it.  I am no little suzy homemaker, I am a healthy proportionately sized suzy sensemaker.  And I am okay with that.

Thanks for reading, and leave a comment below.  Would love to know how many of my readers are dreamers or realists when it comes to money.

Ang

The Casino Hangover

908f7cbe83e513d709f96b040a7a4ac626989e5b203612536600f2f70c4841ecLast night we made the horrendous mistake of going to celebrate the Fourth of July at a casino.  Everyone lost their money, except for me.  I broke even in the eleventh hour.  One spin won me my $120.00 dollars back 5 minutes before the fireworks started…

Relief.

However, I will say that one always suffers from a casino hangover once you lose your ass or if you break even.

My casino hangover was in full swing today!  Will definitely be avoiding the casino until my credit card debt is gone.  Though I lucked out last night, I fear that when it comes to gambling the house always wins.

f4f966850315441ac5c6f9f22badc9aa4e467139b479dd68d464c031405f5502Sorry this post is short, but still nursing a  a real hangover along with my casino hangover.

Have a fabulous night and see you for an all new post tomorrow!

Ang

Cutting Back

51992529At the beginning of the year I promised you loyal readers that I would be out of over $10,000.00 worth of credit card debt by 2015.  I may have been overshooting…BUT let me explain.

Life happened.  Cars needed fixing, teeth needed fixing, medical “stuff” needed fixing.  Life.

BUT (I like big BUTs and I cannot lie) now that a majority of those bills are all caught up, it is time to refocus on my bad debt, that nasty credit card debt.

We have been paying more than the minimum each month on our monthly bill so our total credit card debt is down to around $8,600.00 (I should know this amount down to the penny BUT I don’t).  With only half the year left, I am not sure we will be completely credit card debt free in 2015 but P and I have decided to make three changes in this household to cut out some of our monthly expenses.

  1. Surprise discount on our phone bill.  P went down to our cellular phone company for work purposes and a super groovy employee mentioned to him that he actually gets a work discount for his personal account as well (though I wish we would have known it sooner).  Surprise monthly discount of $25.00.
  2. Jeeper by the dozen.  We decided to downgrade from an ’09 Jeep Rubicon to an ’06 Jeep of some kind (asked P what kind, then he started telling me how to word the “Jeep” portion of my blog and we ended up getting into a Jeep/blog fight which ended in silent treatment the rest of the night which means he won’t even “like” this blog on facebook now…damn). Anywho…monthly savings of over $130.00 in Jeep payments.
  3. Bye bye Bravo.  P went down to our cable provider (which I was going to give him special props for until he pissed me off when I was writing number 2 on this list) and cut the TV.  Sad day BUT this decision just saved us $70.00 a month!

That means our total monthly savings by cutting back on a few things is around $225.00!  Which means in the last half of 2014 we will be saving a total of $1,350.00!!  Sweet!

This credit card debt may not be gone in the next 6 months, BUT these small changes will definitely help..

See you tomorrow for an all new blog in my #93daysofblogging challenge, and hope this blog inspires you all to cut back on a few little things for the greater good!

Ang

P.S. If anyone knows any marriage counselors who specialize in fights of the Jeep and blogging variety, let me know…

More Month Than Money to More Money Than Month

Total-Money-Makeover-Book-CoverDave Ramsey uses the phrases “more month than money”  and “more money than month” in his book “The Total Money Makeover”.  I have this book and read it once a few years ago, and am back to reading it for a second go round (because maybe his advice will actually “stick” this time).

It seems that P and I always have just a little bit more month than money and I am tired of dipping into our savings each month to “survive” until the next payday. This upsets me for two reasons:  1)  I should not be dipping into our emergency fund unless it is an emergency.  An “emergency” is NOT running out of money because we spent way more than we should have and now can’t afford groceries the last week of the month, and 2) We make a decent living.  By no means are we wealthy, but we make okay money and it is just the two of us and our pets, so we HAVE enough money each month, we just don’t spend all of it the way we should.

So why does this keep happening to us?  Why can’t we get our financial s$#t together and have  more money than month vs. more month than money?

Because we rarely make a budget together.

Because we are lazy.

Because we can think of a million other things that we would rather be doing with our time than sitting down and talking about our personal finances. UGGGHHHHH!  My blood pressure can’t be good right now…

walletWhat prompted this rant on this Monday?  Today is payday for both of us.  I love/hate payday because I feel rich for a moment and then overwhelmed with writing out our monthly bills and with all of the questions on what to do with the excess of our money (since we don’t make out a monthly budget). How much should we put in savings?  A vacation fund?  Groceries? Gas? Entertainment?  How much can we put towards our debt? Who has a birthday/wedding/shower this month and how much should we give to that person?

In any relationship, if you combine your money, there has to be a designated bill payer.  I am the bill payer in my relationship so for me,  every payday is a pain day.

This month, I am going to try to spend a little less time watching Bravo and lure my husband away from playing Battlefield 4 (even if that means flashing him some boobies) and create a budget for the next half of the year.

Hopefully taking the time to make a monthly budget will be completely worth it (and I have a feeling it will).

Happy Monday and have an even happier payday!

See you back here tomorrow for an all new blog in my #93daysofblogging challenge.

Ang

 

 

Three things I want this June 2014!

Definitely spent more of my weekend trolling on the internet than I would like to cop to.  In my trolling adventures I did find three things that I would love to have this month in my fantasy life!  Drum roll please (just make the sound in your head for dramatic effect):

1.  GoT Nerd Alert:  A bumper sticker that I would be proud to smack on my car’s ass!

http://www.amazon.com/People-George-Martin-Bumper-Sticker/dp/B00EN34U9W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403371451&sr=8-1&keywords=Squee+Squared

Love me some Game Of Thrones but hate me some bumper stickers, however this sticker is just too fantastic NOT to tattoo your car with AND it is only $4.00 (and $2.00 in shipping).

2.  Veggie Lover Alert:  Spirooli!

Image

Summer is here, which means farmers’ markets and fresh produce!  Have been obsessed with this since I caught it on an infomercial ($29.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond).

http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/1/1/153475-gefu-spirelli-spiral-slicer.html

3.  Wino Alert:  The perfect summer chair!

 

Image

This is definitely an item that I could only afford in my fantasy life BUT that is what this entire “three things” feature of my blog is about.  This chair is made of wine barrels and has a holder for your wine glass.  I can picture myself on my back deck during these upcoming summer nights enjoying a glass of chilled boxed wine in this chair.  Alas, it is way out of this gal’s price range ($329.00 for 1 chair, $599.00 for a set of 2).

http://winebarrelproducts.biz/New_Images___Text_Layout_6.html

Thanks for taking the time to stop on by and remember that there will be a new blog every day for the rest of the summer!

Ang

 

 

Three things I GOT this May 2014!

Normally on my monthly “three things” blog I mention three fantastic things I want (and normally would buy myself if I were not trying to get out of debt), but since May is home to my birthday I thought I would change it up and share with you all three things I got this May 2014:

1. A Seahawks Jersey…Finally!

Image

P really does listen!  My hubby gave me a 12th man jersey (since I have always told him I don’t want a specific player’s jersey since I am not loyal to the players but loyal to the team).  He also personalized it with my last name on the back!  He got some serious “hubby points” that day!

2. A bouquet of the sweetest kind!

Image

Not much of a flower girl, but I LOVE CHOCOLATE!  My mom and dad (though I have a feeling my mommy is the one that put it together…and yes a grown woman just called her mom “mommy”) gave me this bomb.com bouquet!  Loved this and love them!

3.  A beautiful way to tell time!

Image

Egads!  Holy hair and porous skin Batman!  Nevermind the close up pic, but this gal always needs more time, and the only way to get more time is in the form of a watch!  My in-laws gave me this fabulous Fossil watch (love me some Fossil)!  I just love being their favorite daughter-in-law (by default, but I will take it)!  Love them too!

I also got jewelry, gift cards, candy, an ice cream maker, a crazy cat lady purse, a journal, one-of-a-kind necklace, home decor, a travel organizer, cupcakes, and money from my parents and both of my grandmas (who I always tell them they don’t need to give me any money but they continue to do so anyway).

BUT

The best gift I got for my birthday was all of the phone calls and texts and happy birthday voice mails from all of my loved ones.  I am one lucky girl!

Be back tomorrow,

Ang